Parents should never have to worry about what happens when their kid gets sick or if they can afford a prescription or doctor’s visit. Twenty-five years ago, President Clinton signed the Children’s Health Insurance Program into law to make that a reality. I was proud to vote for this landmark legislation in the Senate, where Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch worked across the aisle to achieve a significant expansion of health care for children.
In 1997, before CHIP was created, 15 percent of our nation’s children lacked health insurance. Thanks to CHIP, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today only 4 percent are uninsured. My Administration is building on that progress. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and our efforts to expand access to affordable, quality health care through the ACA, one million children have gained health care coverage since I became president, helping to reverse the coverage losses during the previous Administration. Seven million children and pregnant women enrolled in CHIP now have the peace of mind that health insurance brings, and their families no longer have to lay awake at night wondering how they’ll cover their child’s procedure or pay for a hospital bill.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will build on our efforts to make quality, affordable health care accessible. This legislation will extend the ACA improvements we started with the American Rescue Plan, locking in an average $800 a year savings in health insurance premiums for 13 million Americans and preventing 3 million Americans from becoming uninsured. Congress should pass this legislation quickly to lower health care costs and make health insurance more accessible for families and children across America.